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2020 Olympic Qualifying: Canada vs. Jamaica—preview and how to watch

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It has generally been a one-sided affair, but can CanWNT continue the trend potentially without Christine Sinclair?

Canadian women’s national team celebrates Christine Sinclair’s 185th goal, setting an all-time record.
(Canada Soccer)

Fresh off the heels of a historic 11-0 trashing of St. Kitts & Nevis (#127 in FIFA World Rankings), the Canadian women’s national team are set for a bit of a tougher test on Saturday afternoon at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship when they take on Jamaica in its second group stage match.

It wasn’t Canada’s double-digit goal total that ended up make waves across the world, but rather the goal total of their leader and captain Christine Sinclair, who set a monumental record as international soccer’s all-time leading scorer—male or female.

Sinclair, 36, eclipsed the retired Abby Wambach’s goal total with her second tally of the match in the 23rd minute and was subsequently substituted during the halftime interval. Despite playing just 45 minutes, it’s likely that the Canadian side will be without their star when they take on Jamaica on Saturday (#51 in FIFA World Rankings).

“You need to spread your players across the matches,” coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller told the Canadian Press’ Neil Davidson.

”We need to make sure that everyone is ready throughout the entire tournament,” he added. “We do that with Sincy often, and also with Des [32-year-old midfielder Desiree Scott], but Des didn’t play too much the other day.”

Canada (#8 in FIFA World Rankings) hasn’t come across too much trouble when playing Jamaica in the past. Matched up head-to-head, the red-and-white are 7-0-0 while outscoring the side from the Caribbean 48-1.

Wary of their success against the Jamaican side, the Canadian team won’t be taking the 2019 World Cup side lightly.

“Jamaica have really good players that can make a match tough for any opposition,” said Heiner-Møller. “We need to make sure that we are ready and that we minimize their chances, Hopefully, we’ll also get a few chances and put the ball into the net.”

“This team is more confident than I’ve seen it in a long time, which is really exciting,” added forward Janine Beckie. “Jamaica is a fast-paced, athletically gifted team. They are a good quality team and they’ve gotten better over the last couple of years, so it’s going to be tough. We will need to take our game to another level. I think we played really well on Wednesday, but doing that on a higher stage is going to be important.”

After facing Jamaica, Canada will turn their attention to Mexico (who bested Jamaica 1-0 on Match Day 1) to round out Group B play. Their North American rivals (#26 in FIFA World Rankings) will be their toughest test in group action, however, their most important match will likely come on Friday Feb. 7—a semifinals showdown with their crossover opponent from Group A with the winner securing a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.


HOW TO WATCH

The Canada match kicks off at 17.00 local (18.00 ET / 15.00 PT) and will be broadcast live in Canada on OneSoccer.ca as well as on Rogers TV (Digital TV channel 368 and Ignite TV channel 430).

Extended match day coverage is featured across Canada Soccer’s digital channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.